Cinema attendance is higher in Spain than in most of Europe according to a report from Spain's General Society of Authors and Editors (SGAE) on the cultural consumption habits of Spaniards.

Spaniards go to the movies on average 2.85 times per year, the report says, a figure well above the European average of 2.18 and the average for countries such as the UK (2.29) and Italy (1.96).

The report also confirms what film professionals in Spain already know: that their target audiences are viewers under 35 who come from middle to upper-middle class backgrounds and have a university education. The SGAE report is based on an in-depth survey of 24,000 Spaniards conducted between 1997 and 1999. The report also encompasses consumption of music, theatre, television, video and literature.

Spanish cinema came out almost on a par with North American cinema in the report, scoring 3.90 versus 3.92, on a scale of 0 to 6. Nevertheless, figures published this week by the Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts (ICAA) show that Spanish films cornered an average 15% of the box office in the year ending October 1999. The 205 Spanish films exhibited earned PTS9,257m ($59.7m) at the box office, versus PTS54,515 ($352m) for the 1,246 foreign films. In 1998, North American films represented 79% of the total foreign film box office.